Thursday May 29th 2003, 10:31 pm
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My top twenty favourite English words

1. Barnacle

2. Swindle

3. Spleen

4. Gingerbread

5. Wench

6. Squid

7. Nuzzle-tripe (Smallest and weakest of a brood. A misbehaving child.)

8. Conkerbell (also conkerbill, (a) Icicle; (b) something hanging down from an object, as mucus from the nose, balls of dung in animal fur.)

9. Gallinipper (also garnipper, a large biting mosquito)

10. Snarbuckle ((a) A tightly tied knot; (b) a tangled or twisted rope; burnt or charred remnant (of food): The potatoes are roasted to a snarbuckle; when I went to take it off the stove, it was burned to a snarbuckle.)

11. Fetching

12. Menacing

13. Cattery

14. Qunfidha

15. Teakettle

16. Dilly-dallying

17. Nocturnal

18. Languid

19. Vile

20. Reckon

My top ten favourite Japanese words

1. Tachi (plurals suffix)

2. Namekuji (slug)

3. Kinoko (mushroom)

4. Gutsu-gutsu (the bubbling of a boiling kettle of water)

5. Pera-pera (fluent)

6. Gokiburi (cockroach)

7. Unchi (poo-poo)

8. Unko (excrement, sounds like a girl�s name)

9. Katatsumuri (snail)

10. Komori (bat, the flying mammal)

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Thursday May 29th 2003, 4:12 pm
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Last night I caught the writing class teacher applying eye drops. Her eyes are almost normal. Poor thing.

She was quite enthusiastic about The Exploits of Moominpappa and Moominpappa at Sea, my two original contributions to the list of favourite children’s books. She also liked my list of twenty favourite words, especially the Newfoundland words. Everyone laughed at the idea of a qunfidha. Even the immense powers of the internet have little power to shed more light on this elusive Arabian hedgehog.

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Tuesday May 27th 2003, 8:05 pm
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Margaret told me about someone with no personality. I tried to describe someone I know who has almost no personality. Margaret remarked that my example does have personality. Today my Mr. Personality showed another side of his character, that he has a tendency to mildly break the law. Margaret was right. He does have personality.

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Tuesday May 27th 2003, 8:03 pm
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Laura Lee asked Katrina, the New Zealand girl, whether “I’m hurting” can be used as “I’m pathetic.” Katrina said she thought of sheep, as in “I’m herding.”

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Tuesday May 27th 2003, 6:31 pm
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In a quest to find out how much a human body, chemically speaking, is worth, it seems we are worth $4.50 (US presumably). I can’t imagine why our skin is about $3.50, though the fact that the price is based on cowhide is not completely wholesome. And imagine, the mere 18% of carbon in your body can make a blue diamond.

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Tuesday May 27th 2003, 5:25 pm
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The headless woman got me thinking about Isadora Duncan.

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Tuesday May 27th 2003, 5:22 pm
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Read Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron last night. Margaret was right, it is by Daniel Clowes, the guy who did Ghost World.

I was not completely impressed with it at first, but then – the man with crustaceans in his eye sockets!!! That appeared in my dream ten years ago. In my dream the headless woman from the Calgary Stampede’s freakshow lost not her head but her eyes, both popped out in the car crash. In my dream her car crashed onto the shore. She groped for her eyeballs on the rocks, but picked up instead two geoducks and inserted them in her empty sockets. Years later, when I met her in my dream, she was panicking; the geoducks thrived in her eye sockets and grew to enormous sizes. The pressure the now-large geoducks were exerting on her skull threatened to split open her head. I was part of a medical team that would separate woman and geoducks.

(The real decapitated woman at the Calgary Stampede just wore a black velvet bag over her head against a balck background. She had clamps on her neck. My cousin yelled that she wasn’t really headless, and the woman left the room.)

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Sunday May 25th 2003, 6:15 pm
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“A half century ago, the proper bride feared losing her virginity; the modern bride fears losing her identity.” So true. For links to this story (Confessions of a Midlife Bride) see below.

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Sunday May 25th 2003, 6:09 pm
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Go to Family, Friends and Lovers, read The Bike Trip.

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Sunday May 25th 2003, 12:25 pm
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Have begun researching Navajo history for my trip.

Here’s a deservedly brutal review of Ann Turner’s The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864.

“The trip is on foot. People are shot down on the spot if they say they are tired or sick or if they stop to help someone. If a woman is in labor with a baby, she is killed.” Tiana Bighorse, writing about the Long Walk from Fort Defiance to Fort Sumner in 1864; kinda like the Holocaust Death Marches. The reviewer did not bring this up, but I think Turner had those “seventeen instances of the kindness of soldiers” because she does not want to alienate her white audience.

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